South Carolina House of Representative members discussed their three-part plan to protect ratepayers by working with the Senate to renegotiate with Florida-based NextEra Energy while reforming the debt-riddled utility. Meanwhile, senators started putting together their plan to reform state-owned Santee Cooper.
Critics are skeptical of any type of Santee Cooper real “reform” and want to see the utility sold to a company that can manage Santee Cooper into the future.
House Speaker Jay Lucas laid out this plan and a path towards a sale in an op-ed in the Post & Courier on March 2, 2020.
“With the speaker’s plan and well-articulated goals, we have a way forward. What is not known at this point is whether we can muster the courage and the creativity to put aside parochial concerns and do what is required,” state Rep. Weston Newton.
Both the House and Senate discussed wanting to fire the current Santee Cooper board for their role in approving Santee Cooper’s involvement in the V.C. Summer Project as well as providing additional oversight and protections for its ratepayers.
The South Carolina Department of Administration, in a report released to the legislature, found that “Santee Cooper does not have a history of effecting the kinds of changes contemplated by the reform plan, so its ability to achieve the benefits of the reform plan remains unclear.”
Reform is not a long term solution to this massive problem that the state of South Carolina is currently facing.
What are your thoughts on lawmakers creating a plan to reform Santee Cooper?